Follow CDC Guidelines for Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Printing Facility
Protecting the health and safety of employees during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak is essential to ensure the spread of the virus is stopped and it does not spread within the workplace. The emergence of the COVID-19 virus has created a situation where every printing operation needs to institute a cleaning and disinfection program that will minimize the possibility of an employee becoming infected.
The information presented below is based on the guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for businesses.
How do you clean and disinfect?
Provide training to all cleaning staff on site prior to providing cleaning tasks.
- Training should include when to use PPE, what PPE is necessary, how to properly don (put on), use, and doff (take off) PPE, and how to properly dispose of PPE.
Ensure workers are trained on the hazards of the cleaning chemicals used in the workplace in accordance with OSHA’s Hazard Communication standard (29 CFR 1910.1200).
Make sure all employees cleaning wear disposable gloves to clean and disinfect and then wash your hands for 20 seconds following the cleaning activity.
How to Clean Hard Surfaces
Clean surfaces using soap and water or household cleaners. Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.
High touch surfaces include:
- Tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.
How to Disinfect Hard Surfaces
Clean the area or item with soap and water or another detergent if it is dirty. Then, use disinfectant.
Recommend use of EPA-registered household disinfectant.
Follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product.
Many products recommend:
- Keeping surface wet for a period of time (see product label)
- Precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
Diluted household bleach solutions may also be used if appropriate for the surface. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
Leave solution on the surface for at least 1 minute
- To make a bleach solution, mix:
- 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
- 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol.
How to Clean Soft Surfaces
For soft surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes
- Clean the surface using soap and water or with cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces.
- Launder items (if possible) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.OR
- Disinfect with an EPA-registered household disinfectant. These disinfectants meet EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19.
How to Clean Electronics
For electronics, such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines
- Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics.
- Follow manufacturer’s instruction for cleaning and disinfecting.
- If no guidance, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol. Dry surface thoroughly.
How to Clean Laundry
For uniforms, clothing, towels, linens and other items
- Wear disposable gloves.
- Wash hands with soap and water as soon as you remove the gloves.
- Do not shake dirty laundry.
- Launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
- Dirty laundry from a sick person can be washed with other people’s items.
- Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to guidance above for surfaces.
How Do We Clean and Disinfect If Someone Contracts COVID-19?
Close off areas used by the sick person.
Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area. Wait 24 hours before you clean or disinfect. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.
Clean and disinfect all areas used by the sick person, such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment like tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines.
Wear disposable gloves and gowns for all tasks in the cleaning process, including handling trash.
- Additional personal protective equipment (PPE) might be required based on the cleaning/disinfectant products being used and whether there is a risk of splash.
- Gloves and gowns should be removed carefully to avoid contamination of the wearer and the surrounding area.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds
- Always wash immediately after removing gloves and after contact with a sick person.
- Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 70% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
Gary A. Jones is the director of environmental, health and safety (EHS) affairs at the PRINTING United Alliance in Fairfax, VA. His primary responsibility is to monitor and analyze EHS regulatory activities at all domestic and some international government levels. He provides representation on behalf of the printing and specialty graphic imaging industry.